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Though human prospects of colonizing Mars are still far off, NASA hasn’t given up on exploring the Red Planet just yet.
In fact, the agency is looking into creating robotic swarms of bees to better study Mars and find signs of life, CNET reported.
Aptly named “Marsbees,” the critter-like robots are as small as a bumblebee and have the wingspan of a cicada.
They could potentially be launched from a mobile space base acting as a communications and recharging station on the Red Planet, allowing the bees to cover more ground than traditional bots and detect signs of life, such as the presence of methane gas.
It’s not the first time adventurous scientists have drawn inspiration from nature. Researchers are currently developing a “hummingbird micro-air vehicle” and will soon test it in a simulation of Mars’ atmosphere.
NASA also recently announced a round of investments for 25 early early-stage tech projects similar to those mentioned to help speed up exploration.
Current rovers have proved helpful in providing information on our neighboring celestial body, but they can only cover so much ground. One rover, Curiosity, has only traversed about 11 miles since landing on Mars in 2012.